Study Shows that Intermittent Fasting has Benefits for Diabetic Patients

A new study on adult Muslims suffering from type 2 diabetes has revealed that intermittent fasting during Ramadan is actually helpful for their health. Intermittent fasting is a new trend of weight loss and is quite popular these days. For many people, it is just a weight loss programs and for others, it is a lifestyle change. But in any way, it has some remarkable health benefits to offer.

Intermittent fasting is also rooted in some religious practices globally. For example, during the month of Ramadan, Muslims follow a daily routine of intermittent fasting and abstain from drinking and eating food from morning to evening. Although Muslims who are diabetic have some health concerns before starting the fast, doing the fast actually has many health benefits for them,

The complete research is published in the journal “Annals of Family Medicine” in its March/April issue of 2020.

This study on adult Muslim participants showed that diabetic people empowered with a  professionally designed protocol completed their fast safely. They were studied by a healthcare team from the National University of Singapore.

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The protocol that they followed was named “FAST”, meaning Fasting Algorithm for Singaporeans with Type 2 Diabetes.”  The leader of this team, Joyce Yu-Chia Lee is a professor at the University of California. Joyce says; “FAST is one of the first tools that brings together Ramadan education, guidance for health care providers and elements of patient empowerment.”

All the participants in this trial followed this FAST protocol to see if intermittent fasting was possible for them or not. During this whole study period, they collaborated with a healthcare provider who recorded no risk of any type especially not related to hypoglycemia. In fact, the fasting gave these participants better control over their glycemic levels.

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This FAST protocol is aimed to make the diabetic people educated and aware of how to monitor and control their blood sugar level. With a culturally designed awareness plan and information for the patients as well as doctors encourage to self-monitor the sugar levels before, during and after a fast.

The study concluded that using customized plans lie this Fast protocol could be helpful to make Muslim adults fast safely, without interrupting their sugar levels. Dr. Lee says that it is common for Muslim diabetic patients to fast, without professional medical assistance. Because most of the doctors advise them not to fast which is against their religious and cultural beliefs. So they continue to do it, without consulting a medical professional.

This study shows that tools like intermittent fasting would fill up this gap between the patient and doctor on how to safely complete a fast or make it a lifestyle change, irrespective of one’s religious views. She also expects that this trial might lead to a tailored plan on diabetes management for religious and cultural people in addition to the standard diabetic guidelines.


Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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